Net reputations ruin job hopes
Blogging and social network bloopers can hurt your employability
By Tim Ferguson
Published: Wednesday 28 March 2007
Employers are increasingly checking out online personal information about candidates when making recruitment decisions.
Net reputations built up through online activities - such as blogging, posting videos to YouTube or using social networks such as FaceBook and MySpace – can have a significant effect when applying for a job, according to a report from business social network, Viadeo.
According to the research, one in five employers finds information about candidates on the internet and 59 per cent of those said it influences recruitment decisions.
A quarter of HR decision-makers said they had rejected candidates based on personal information found online.
But despite this, most people are unaware of the effect their 'net reputation' can have on their job prospects.
Examples of online information that has been shown to create negative information include MySpace sites that reveal excessive drinking or disrespect for work.
One survey respondent said their company rejected a candidate based on activities that "did not fit ethically" into the organisation.
But information found online can also work positively when applying for a job, with 13 per cent of HR decision-makers having decided to recruit people in light of what they found.
Positive information could include achievements not already known, internet skills demonstrated through a website and extra skills not revealed by a corporate application form.
Peter Cunningham, Viadeo's UK country manager, said the results should be a wake-up call to anyone who has ever posted personal information online. "The rise of search engines such as Google means that potential employers are never more than a few clicks away from information about you," he added in a statement.
The research surveyed more than 2,000 consumers and more than 600 employers via an online interview.